Hamilton schools ready for coronavirus outbreak

News Sep 15, 2020 by Richard Leitner hamiltonnews.com

Hamilton’s public and Catholic school boards will follow the same procedures if there is a coronavirus case at one of their schools, including by posting information on their board’s and the affected school’s websites.

Both will also notify the school’s parents and guardians, and report probable or confirmed cases to the Ministry of Education and city’s public health department, with the latter determining whether to declare an outbreak.

A ministry guidance document defines an outbreak as two or more confirmed COVID-19 cases within a 14-day period where at least one of the sick persons could have reasonably become infected at school or while on a school bus.

Dr. Ninh Tran, Hamilton associate medical officer of health, said the level of response to an outbreak will depend on how widespread potential infection of others was.

If contact tracing shows potential transmissions only occurred within one classroom, it wouldn’t require the whole school to close, but may prompt more cleaning and screening for symptoms, he said.

“There’s no necessary fast, exact rule,” Tran said. “Certainly, if we have various cases popping up in various different classrooms and we think that there’s transmissions within the school, closing a school then becomes a much more reasonable option.

“But you could have a very localized outbreak that’s contained within one area or classroom.”

Both boards are following ministry guidelines on what to do if a student or staff member exhibits coronavirus symptoms at school.

Sharon Stephanian, the public board’s superintendent of equity and well-being, said a student will be escorted to an isolation space and provided a medical grade mask if able to wear one.

Parents will be called and given information on next steps, including contacting their family doctor, she said, and the principal will follow up to see if the student got tested and the result. A similar procedure is in place for staff.

The affected classroom will be cleared for cleaning before students and educators return.

Tran said sick students will be asked to isolate at home and be able return once recovered and 14 days have passed since the onset of symptoms. The same applies to fellow students and staff if there is a class or school outbreak.

Catholic board superintendent Morris Hucal said weekly meetings with the health department and public board try to ensure a consistent approach.

“We’re all working together and doing our best to keep the student and staff as safe as we possibly can,” he said.

A lengthy list of precautions at both boards includes daily parental screening of kids for coronavirus symptoms, requiring all students and staff to wear masks when indoors if able to do so, and frequent hand washing.


Hamilton schools ready for coronavirus outbreak

No ‘exact rule’ on closing school or classroom, public health says

News Sep 15, 2020 by Richard Leitner hamiltonnews.com

Hamilton’s public and Catholic school boards will follow the same procedures if there is a coronavirus case at one of their schools, including by posting information on their board’s and the affected school’s websites.

Both will also notify the school’s parents and guardians, and report probable or confirmed cases to the Ministry of Education and city’s public health department, with the latter determining whether to declare an outbreak.

A ministry guidance document defines an outbreak as two or more confirmed COVID-19 cases within a 14-day period where at least one of the sick persons could have reasonably become infected at school or while on a school bus.

Dr. Ninh Tran, Hamilton associate medical officer of health, said the level of response to an outbreak will depend on how widespread potential infection of others was.

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If contact tracing shows potential transmissions only occurred within one classroom, it wouldn’t require the whole school to close, but may prompt more cleaning and screening for symptoms, he said.

“There’s no necessary fast, exact rule,” Tran said. “Certainly, if we have various cases popping up in various different classrooms and we think that there’s transmissions within the school, closing a school then becomes a much more reasonable option.

“But you could have a very localized outbreak that’s contained within one area or classroom.”

Both boards are following ministry guidelines on what to do if a student or staff member exhibits coronavirus symptoms at school.

Sharon Stephanian, the public board’s superintendent of equity and well-being, said a student will be escorted to an isolation space and provided a medical grade mask if able to wear one.

Parents will be called and given information on next steps, including contacting their family doctor, she said, and the principal will follow up to see if the student got tested and the result. A similar procedure is in place for staff.

The affected classroom will be cleared for cleaning before students and educators return.

Tran said sick students will be asked to isolate at home and be able return once recovered and 14 days have passed since the onset of symptoms. The same applies to fellow students and staff if there is a class or school outbreak.

Catholic board superintendent Morris Hucal said weekly meetings with the health department and public board try to ensure a consistent approach.

“We’re all working together and doing our best to keep the student and staff as safe as we possibly can,” he said.

A lengthy list of precautions at both boards includes daily parental screening of kids for coronavirus symptoms, requiring all students and staff to wear masks when indoors if able to do so, and frequent hand washing.


Hamilton schools ready for coronavirus outbreak

No ‘exact rule’ on closing school or classroom, public health says

News Sep 15, 2020 by Richard Leitner hamiltonnews.com

Hamilton’s public and Catholic school boards will follow the same procedures if there is a coronavirus case at one of their schools, including by posting information on their board’s and the affected school’s websites.

Both will also notify the school’s parents and guardians, and report probable or confirmed cases to the Ministry of Education and city’s public health department, with the latter determining whether to declare an outbreak.

A ministry guidance document defines an outbreak as two or more confirmed COVID-19 cases within a 14-day period where at least one of the sick persons could have reasonably become infected at school or while on a school bus.

Dr. Ninh Tran, Hamilton associate medical officer of health, said the level of response to an outbreak will depend on how widespread potential infection of others was.

Related Content

If contact tracing shows potential transmissions only occurred within one classroom, it wouldn’t require the whole school to close, but may prompt more cleaning and screening for symptoms, he said.

“There’s no necessary fast, exact rule,” Tran said. “Certainly, if we have various cases popping up in various different classrooms and we think that there’s transmissions within the school, closing a school then becomes a much more reasonable option.

“But you could have a very localized outbreak that’s contained within one area or classroom.”

Both boards are following ministry guidelines on what to do if a student or staff member exhibits coronavirus symptoms at school.

Sharon Stephanian, the public board’s superintendent of equity and well-being, said a student will be escorted to an isolation space and provided a medical grade mask if able to wear one.

Parents will be called and given information on next steps, including contacting their family doctor, she said, and the principal will follow up to see if the student got tested and the result. A similar procedure is in place for staff.

The affected classroom will be cleared for cleaning before students and educators return.

Tran said sick students will be asked to isolate at home and be able return once recovered and 14 days have passed since the onset of symptoms. The same applies to fellow students and staff if there is a class or school outbreak.

Catholic board superintendent Morris Hucal said weekly meetings with the health department and public board try to ensure a consistent approach.

“We’re all working together and doing our best to keep the student and staff as safe as we possibly can,” he said.

A lengthy list of precautions at both boards includes daily parental screening of kids for coronavirus symptoms, requiring all students and staff to wear masks when indoors if able to do so, and frequent hand washing.